Spend some time baking with your friends and family, or create something new to add that wow factor to your Christmas table. Discover our tried and tested sweet treats for the festive season that the whole family will enjoy!
CINNAMON SUGAR CUT OUT COOKIES
*Makes 12 to 18 cookies, depending on the cookie cutter size
3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup Unsalted Butter, cold and cut into chunks
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cinnamon sugar*
*if not using pre-mixed cinnamon sugar, combine on a
ratio of 9 parts sugar to 1 part cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 170° C. Line cookie sheets with baking paper. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
2. In a bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, sugar, and cinnamon sugar until combined and fluffy. Mix in the egg. In three additions, add the flour mixture, mixing on low just until combined.
3. Roll the dough to 6mm thickness with a floured rolling pin on a well-floured surface. (The dough may need to be kneaded together to incorporate any crumbly bits.) Place the cut-out shapes onto a prepared cookie sheet and freeze for 5 to 10 minutes before baking to prevent spreading.
4. Bake 9 to 12 minutes, or until done. Cool on the pan for 2 minutes, then remove to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. Decorate with royal icing.
SANTA HAT BROWNIES
*Makes 9 -16
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 large eggs
3/4 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
9 fresh strawberries
1/2 cup vanilla frosting
1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Line 8x8 baking pan with baking paper and set aside.
2. Combine flour, salt, and baking soda together in a small bowl and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, brown sugar, and oil for 2 minutes.
4. Whisk in water and vanilla extract until fully incorporated.
5. Whisk in the dry ingredients.
6. Melt 1 cup chocolate chips in microwave on 30-second intervals until melted, stirring in between, about 60 seconds.
7. Whisk melted chocolate into the brownie batter until fully combined.
8. Mix in the remaining 1/2 cup of chocolate chips.
9. Pour batter into baking pan, bake for 50-55 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer to a baking rack to cool.
10. Cut into 9 brownies and pipe a circle of frosting on each one, top with a strawberry that has had the stem sliced off, then pipe a little dollop of frosting on the point of the strawberry to complete the hat.
GINGERBREAD PEAR LOAF
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and levelled
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp. ground ginger
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. plus 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup. molasses
1/2 cup buttermilk
6 tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup. packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 firm but ripe pear, peeled and chopped
1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Lightly grease an 8- by 4-inch loaf pan and line with baking paper, leaving an overhang on two sides.
Whisk together flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, cloves, and salt in a bowl. Combine molasses and buttermilk in a separate bowl.
2. Beat butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to medium and beat in eggs and vanilla. Reduce mixer speed to low and beat in flour mixture and molasses mixture alternately, starting and ending with the flour mixture, just until incorporated.
3. Fold in pear and transfer to prepared pan. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in centre comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.